For sale, for free
With his crucifixion, Jesus opened a shop with loads of brand new clothes in every town. Anyone could enter and exchange his or her dirty clothes. As you enter, you pass a lovely burning fire. You can throw your old clothes into the fire where they burn to a cinder together with all traces of your sin. Now you can go out into the world and show people what Christ has done for you.
But we know we soon rub up against the world and then our clothes are dirty again. If you work in a coal mine wearing white clothes you will inevitably brush against something and the black mark will be clearly visible.
Although we are no longer of this world, we are still in this world. And because of that we will stumble now and then. We must admit how vulnerable we are and that we cannot remain standing in all circumstances. Things will happen in our lives that will make us do things that are outside the will of God and then there is a dirty stain.
However, this is where Jesus’ mercy is unending. When we walk past the shop, He beckons us inside: Come and get more clean clothes. I have already died on the cross for those dirty stains. You don’t have to wear it. Come get a new set of clothes.
And with every putting on of that new set of clothes something happens. Paul puts it so well: 10Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete.
We can take that image a little further: The more often you come to the shop to put your old clothes in the fire and put on new clothes, the more you get to know the Owner. The more you are in the presence of someone, the more often you talk to one another, the more you listen to one another, and the better you get to know one another.
I’m so grateful that God decided to come to earth and opened a shop with new clothes. A shop that doesn’t work with money. No, everything is free, but even more; here we have the opportunity to get to know Jesus better, to meet Him personally and to become familiar with Him.
What I cannot understand is why so many people avoid the shop. People who simply look the other way and deny the existence of the shop. Even more incomprehensible is the act of people who see the shop and consciously decide to ignore it. Why walk around in dirty clothes all the time if you can get spotless, new clothes in that shop? All totally fashionable and free!
I realise more and more what a big responsibility we have to show our gratitude for everything we get for free. We must willfully show our new clothes to those walking around in blinkers. We must tell them about the owner of the shop and about all that He had to sacrifice to give us beautiful clean clothes for free.
When people get to know Jesus better through us, they will run as fast as they can to get to the shop. Or what do you think?
What do your clothes look like?
Do you make time to meet Jesus at the shop?
What must you do differently in your life?
Father, how can one say thank you for such a shop? I have to go there often, because I still bump against the world all the time. I want to get to know you more and better and I want to tell others about it, because they are missing such a lot! Amen.